Selling your home during the holiday season?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks

Should you be selling your home during the holiday season?

Now that the holiday season is upon us, many potential sellers may feel that they should wait until after the first of the year to sell.  There seems to be a popular belief that no one wants to buy a house in November or December.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  I have been busy nearly every holiday season in the more than 35 years I've worked in real estate.  And this year is no exception.Christmas decor

In fact, this year sellers may find they are getting more buyer activity than usual, since the inventory of homes for sale continues to be lower than usual.  And that means that sellers have less competition.  I have heard a number of buyers say that they would like to start the new year in a new home.  That means they are actively searching for that home right now.

There are a few different issues, however, that the holiday season may bring for sellers.  Here are a few tips specifically for those selling during November and December.

1.  Try to limit smells. Be careful about filling your home with "Christmas-y" fragrances. There are potential buyers who may be allergic or who simply don't enjoy pine or cinnamon or whatever holiday fragrance you enjoy.  There is no sense in chasing them away. 

And if you are a smoker, please try to limit your smoking to a place outside the home.  I know it is inconvenient, but it is only for the time you are selling your home, and it may bring you an offer more quickly and at a higher price.

2.  Consider your pets.  The holidays are often stressful for pets and having a number of strangers coming to the house can also be stressful for some.  This may mean that normally well behaved pets may suddenly forget they are housebroken, and there may be a few extra puddles where they don't belong. 

This can also bring some unwanted smells, and a pet that is terribly confused.  A bit of extra attention during this time, an extra walk or two for your dog, and whatever arrangements you can make to remind them that you do love them and it will all be okay.

3.  Don't overdo the holiday decor.  Many of us love to bring out the pumpkins, gourds, turkeys, and other decor for Thanksgiving and lots of Santas, snowmen, lights and holiday wreaths for Christmas.  Don't overdo the decorationsBy all means, you need not be decor-free, but cut in half the amount you would otherwise display.  the reason for this is that we want to show off your great home, and not the great holiday decorations. 

I have shown homes that had beautiful architecture, crown mouldings, fireplaces and large rooms, and my buyers couldn't recall seeing any of those things, but they remembered the jolly Santa in the entry and the beautiful angels and bulbs hanging from the ceiling.  Remember, you are not selling anything but the house, and that is what we need to promote.

4.  Do not make your home seem cramped.  A related issue to #3 is that Christmas trees do take up a lot of space.  Keep that in mind, and you may need to remove a piece or two of furniture while the tree is up, to keep your home feeling open and large, not crowded and small.

5.  Be smart about leaving presents under the tree.  We all like to believe that people are honest, and no Realtor that I know would knowlingly bring thieves into your home, but let's not tempt them anyway.  A Realtor bringing buyers to your home will be sensitive to this, but better safe than sorry.  Protect your gifts

Any small or expensive gifts should be moved to a dresser or someplace safer than under the tree while your home is for sale.  Buyers will look in closets because they want to see their size and if there is built-in shelving, but they should not look in dresser drawers or inside furniture that will not be sold with the home. 

6.  Keep your home bright and cheery.  Late fall and winter can be a bit dreary, with everything outside tending to look gray and beige.  A few red pillows on your couch or on the master Brighten your home in wintersuite bed and red placemats on the table can bring a cheery feeling. 

Having the thermostat up a degree or two and lights all on for showings can make your home feel warm, comfortable and inviting.  If you have an insert or electric fireplace, you might leave the fire on for showings, but I don't recommend leaving a wood fire burning if you will be leaving the house.

7.  Above all, have a wonderful holiday season.  None of the above tips should keep you from having a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any of the other holidays you may be celebrating, but they just might bring you the best gift of all -- a great buyer bringing in a great offer on your home!


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Thinking of selling your home?  Remember, it costs you nothing for me to come out and discuss your home, the market in your area, and give you a market analysis and presentation so that you will know what you can expect to get for your home.

Call for appointment:  (916) 705-8951

Also Remember, if you are planning to buy a home, I can help you to tour any home for sale in Sacramento County and the surrounding areas, no matter what firm has it listed, and I can help you with your purchase if you find the perfect home for you.

Just give me a call at (916) 705-8951

Susan Neal
Broker / Realtor

Susan Neal Fine Properties
Fair Oaks, California

Full time real estate services in Fair Oaks CA, with friendly professionalism, 30+ years experience. 
I work hard to give my buyer or seller a low-stress transaction.

"Happy clients make me happy."

For all your real estate needs or questions, call me at (916)705-8951 or visitmy website at    

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Check out my business page on facebook:  Susan Neal Fine Properties


Comments (3)

Mike Warren
Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO

Very nice post with great information. Thanks for sharing!

Nov 04, 2013 04:23 PM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Susan, you have a lot of really great tips here.  I really want to say that what I've found is anyone out looking around the holidays are very serious.  Last year I showed 3 different clients on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and they all bought...yes, holidays can be very good!

Nov 09, 2013 08:40 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

This is great advice, Susan. Home sellers over the holidays may get carried away with all the holiday spirit and overdo things. Not putting temptation under the Christmas tree is a good idea.

Dec 11, 2013 07:37 AM

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